Ninja argues that DMCA proves music industry doesn’t understand “value” of creators - Dexerto
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Ninja argues that DMCA proves music industry doesn’t understand “value” of creators

Published: 3/Jan/2021 1:12 Updated: 3/Jan/2021 15:12

by Theo Salaun

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As Twitch streamers navigate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Ninja argues that the music industry doesn’t recognize the value of content creators as much as gaming companies do.

With online content becoming more and more popular over the past year, music industry executives and government officials have joined together in trying to restrict free usage of record labels’ property.

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In November 2020, Twitch felt compelled to try apologizing for DMCA controversy as streamers and fans complained about an onslaught of suspensions and content deletion. Then, in December 2020, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis prompted massive Twitter backlash by pushing a bill that would punish DMCA strikes with felony jail time. 

Now, segueing into the new year, Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins took some time during a Valorant stream to address confusion on the behalf of his chat. In his brief, impassioned clarification, the legendary streamer described how DMCA laws demonstrate the ignorance of music industry execs compared to those in the gaming industry. 

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As DMCA laws work, a content creator can get in trouble for using songs in their content, whether live or recorded, if they haven’t received explicit permissions from the controlling label. In contrast, a fan in Ninja’s chat wanted to know if using a video game’s property for content could be punished similarly.

In response, Ninja put forth a simple clarification: “DMCA is everything to do with music, okay?”

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Then, he elaborated on why the valuation of content creators is at the heart of the difference in approach between the gaming and music industries: “Having the rights to be able to stream video games … gaming companies understand and they realize the value that streamers and content creators bring. And they don’t try to monetize off of it. And that’s the difference between the music and the gaming industry.”

ninja adidas partnership
Twitter, @Ninja
Ninja, showing off his Adidas sneaker, is no stranger to business partnerships across multiple industries.

As Ninja posits, gaming companies recognize that allowing their titles to be used by streamers and content creators is of value to them already and not worth trying to monetize further. This is likely because they see the content as free publicity, therefore freeing up some marketing budget, and don’t want to restrict said creators. 

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Dissimilarly, music companies want to monetize any and all usage of their property as much as possible. Ninja’s argument seems to suggest that by attempting to be so restrictive, those companies are ignoring the value that content creators can offer them.